Open Container Initiative standardises container specifications

Open Container Initiative


With the swift increase of containerisation, the Linux Foundation backed Open Container Initiative (OCI) has released its container runtime and image format specifications. The open source container community is also planning to bring a formal certification program to enable a set of common, minimal, open standards and specifications around container technology.

Comprised of Runtime Specification v1.0 and Image Format Specification v1.0, the new OCI specifications are aimed to make it easier for customers to opt container solutions. Also, it showcases the integrated and collaborative effort that was designed by a community of individual contributors and disparate organisations, including the project’s over 40 member organisations.

“By creating these open, accessible specifications, along with early deployments, we are bringing the industry closer to portability and standardisation. This is no small feat, and I am incredibly proud of the OCI community for all the hard work that went into this release,” said Chris Aniszczyk, executive director of OCI.

Established back in June 2015, the OCI helps the community enhance container technologies using the essence of open source — without any lock-in period. While the initial development was to develop vendor-neutral container standards, the latest specifications release progressively brings “readiness for serious commercial adoption” to the front foot.

Docker contributions behind the scenes

CoreOS and Docker teams are working with other OCI member companies to standardise the experience. Moreover, OCI v1.0 specifications are implemented by runc and containerd components that both are a part of the Docker platform.

“Today marks an important milestone for the OCI with the release of OCI v1.0 specifications, a standard that is implemented by the components within the Docker platform – runc and containerd,” said Patrick Chanezon, chief developer advocate, Docker.

Apart from CoreOS and Docker teams, the OCI receives major contributions from cloud leaders such as AWS, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Huawei, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware. Tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle and Tencent also participated in the journey of bringing a standard for container platforms.

Certification in plans

Going forward, the OCI is set to support container developments with a certification programme that will be launched later this year. This new initiative will run parallel to other projects to take containers to new levels over time.


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